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Rock Hill mom uses Craigslist to give holiday baskets to needy

Morgan Carver Richards' chaotic living room floor in Rock Hill is filled with plastic eggs and candy and fake grass and little toys and her two little girls.

It all started with a simple thought she had last year around this time: "Every child deserves an Easter basket."

"People always help others around Christmas, at Thanksgiving," Richards said to her husband, Rob. "But what about little kids who wake up on Easter and they have nothing?"

So she posted a little ad on the Internet marketplace Craigslist that told people she would deliver Easter baskets to needy children in York County. Dubbing herself "Bunny's Little Helper," Richards received 10 responses, including one from a lady whose house was being foreclosed and car repossessed, but had kids that would get nothing on Easter morning.

Richards paid for everything herself, delivered the baskets herself.

"That's my wife, always trying to help somebody," said Rob Richards. "I am proud of her."

This year, she posted the ad on Craigslist again, and already has received more than 210 responses.

One response came from a General Equivalency Diploma class, to get baskets for the children of those adults. Others came from people who simply don't have anything to offer their kids.

"I was just overwhelmed there are so many kids out there who might not get anything," Richards said. "Maybe it is because of the economy."

So Richards has decided that as many kids as she can find in York County who might not get a basket will get one.

Megan Bangle, Richards' good friend, has joined her and they have handed out flyers in Richards' neighborhood asking for donations to help kids. One neighbor out in his yard gave $20. Richards' grandmother gave $30.

"We drove straight to the dollar store, bought $50 worth of baskets and stuff to put in them, and got to work," said Bangle. "We even got a donation of little Bibles from the Gideons to put in the baskets."

The idea has gotten so big, Richards hopes some people can arrange pick-ups through Craigslist, or offer help to deliver the baskets. She'll accept money donations to buy supplies or baskets.

Richards received the go-ahead from her employer, Blockbuster Video, to put up collection boxes at their stores in Fort Mill and Rock Hill.

Easter is April 4. Richards plans to make as many baskets as she has needy kids to receive them on the Friday and Saturday before Easter Sunday.

It doesn't matter that the kids are strangers. The only thing Richards cares about is joy.

"All I want to do is help a child," Richards said. "If we get a thousand requests, somehow we will get a thousand kids their baskets.

"Yes, there is an Easter Bunny, if I have anything to say about it."

Want to help?

Donation boxes are at Blockbuster Video stores in Rock Hill and Fort Mill, and Little Giant convenience stores in Rock Hill.

To see the online service, go to craigslist.com and see the listing under Charlotte, free section, Easter baskets.

Information/donations: morgancarver@yahoo.com

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